All six of Britain’s UCI-ranked domestic teams will ride this year’s Tour of Britain, which starts in Peebles, Scotland, on Sunday.
However, if you’re a bit confused and you don’t know your Bibbys from your Barkers, Cycling Weekly will this week be giving you a beginners’ guide to the sextet of squads. Here, Raleigh’s DS Cherie Pridham talks us through her team.
Tour of Britain participations: 3 (2010, 2011, 2012)
Stage wins: 0
Jersey wins: 0
Best result: 29th overall, Evan Oliphant (2012)
CW: What does the Tour of Britain mean to you?
Cherie Pridham: “With Raleigh being an iconic British brand, it means a tremendous amount. It’s something that we’ve prepared for from the start of the year. I’m excited about it.”
CW: Is exposure more important than the results?
CP: “They come hand in hand. For a British team, to be racing in the 10th Tour of Britain is an honour. It’s great for the riders to be able to test themselves against the big names.”
CW: Can you talk us through your Tour of Britain line-up?
CP: “Lachlan Norris (below, r) targeting the GC is one objective, but like every British team, we’ll be looking for opportunities every day and trying to animate the race. He’s a punchy rider, he’s looking fit, but there’s no pressure on him as it’s not our outright objective. Alex Blain is a strong personality and he’s good to have around. He keeps a smile on everybody’s face, including the team managers. He recently got married, so he’s extremely motivated. He’s like a new man. Tom Moses has shown progressive development throughout the year. He reads races well and I think he’s ready for it. Mark Christian had quite a serious injury after the Tour of Normandy and for a while we were not sure if we were going to see him again this year. We gave him the time out he needed to heal his hip, and he’s come back with flying colours.”
“Tom Scully (above, l) will find out what type of rider he is very soon – he is simply capable of doing many things. He’s an exciting rider to have on any team, he sniffs out the finish line and he’s quick. We’ve played at using him in bunch sprints during the season, and that could happen again. Evan Oliphant [who, along with Kristian House has raced seven of the nine previous Tours, the most of any rider] is consistent, steady, experienced and he will get on with whatever you ask him to do.”